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giant waves in the magnetosphere


Look at the graphs and the map below. The graphs show how strong the Earth's magnetic field was at different observatories in Scandinavia between 6am and 7am on 22nd August 1993. These types of waves are called ‘giant pulsations’. Use your mouse to explore where each graph was plotted.



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As you can see, the waves were recorded passing over a large area of Scandinavia. Notice too that the waves aren't quite the same at the different observatories.


Still longer period waves are found in the outer magnetosphere. We think these are a direct result of the solar wind flowing along the boundaries of the magnetosphere without actually penetrating it. This is a bit like the wind blowing across the sea and causing waves.

Since we know how far apart the recording stations are, we can use this difference to work out how fast the wave is travelling.




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